My tarot card drawn this morning is the Ace of Cups: become conscious of Spirit, the guiding force, and allow it to speak. Be the witch.

It’s been a tiresome few weeks, including childhood trauma retriggered, oceans of mud, and a spiral fracture to the 5th metatarsal – nothing earth-shattering but enough to remind me of my mortality, my weakness, my vulnerability to despair at the smallest setback.

What pulls me back out is gently but consistently reminding myself: I am a witch.

And I invite you to try the name on for yourself, too. See how it fits.

Anyone can become a witch… it is simply a matter of declaring and deciding ourselves to be so. And then something incredible happens.

You see, the word ‘witch’ carries with it centuries of stories, of understanding, of meaning. We all add different nuance to the definition, but we agree that a witch is powerful, magical, disinterested in fitting in or being approved of. That she can use her powers for good or evil, that she indulges in beliefs and behaviours that are outside the norm.

She’s probably a bit frightening. She definitely doesn’t give a shit.

When we decide we are a witch any remaining vestige of a sense of seeking permission, are shed. If we have an urge to create an altar on the tree stump near the playground in the park, we do so – because if anyone were even to ask, we’re witches.

Offer with a shrug and a glare. “I’m a witch.” It’s worth saying aloud just for the barely perceptible double-take and the split second flash of apprehension in your tormentor. Are you sure you want to mess with me?

Don’t believe you are powerful enough to be a witch? My dear I assure you, you are exactly as powerful as you believe yourself to be. Everything you think, is not true – in fact, we do well to assume it is not. Adopt an air of gentle curiosity. Perhaps you are and always have been a witch, unbeknownst to your ego who has been in the driving seat all these years.

Part of the art of magic is unveiling the full expression of yourself. Or rather, the magic doesn’t work unless you do so. We have to absolutely drop every negative judgement of ourselves, and be immensely ok with what is already here, rather than comparing, and judging negatively, what is here against the past or the future.

If we shrink away from the things that are (as we judge) ugly, weak, frightening, shameful… we dishonour our mortality, in human incarnation. Existence is NOT pristine and unsullied, in fact it is a stinky mess. Most of us spend a lot of time in physical discomfort, dealing with shit of one kind or another. We are here to experience all emotions, including the desperately uncomfortable ones.

If we adopt an idealistic point of view, it comes with endless negative judgement of what is ‘less than’ ideal.

And it feels like a very helpless place to be, because the resistance to all that we deem ugly is exactly what holds it in place and makes it bigger and more dramatic.

It’s just our beloved shadow, manifesting exactly what she demands in order to feel both, all, every part of the emotional spectrum.

The answer is not to deny the ugliness of the world, as so many uninspiring personal development gurus would have it (along with the gaslighting tactic of saying that your magic doesn’t work because you’re not thinking enough happy thoughts).

Instead, the answer is to try on the idea that actually you are the dreamer of the dream, and surrender to, honour and celebrate those intensely challenging aversions.* Because as long as you take it upon yourself to identify as put-upon, over-worked, under-appreciated, frustrated, anxious, you remain solidly connected to those aversions.

(* Note: if the thing you ‘do not like’ is violence like racism, misogyny, homophobia or any other system of hate and oppression, this is not a suggestion to celebrate those systems. This is applicable to aversions that are your own patterns, like an inability to earn above a certain threshold, or find a loyal and loving partner, etc.)

And to come neatly full circle, that’s why I strongly recommend identifying as a witch. To take on the name is to don a magical robe, whereby we are encouraged and expected to deeply approve of every aspect of ourselves. The lazy part, the part that just loves refined carbs, the jealous part, the vengeful part. We don’t have to act out every impulse, we are not barbarians! But we can stop rejecting them with immediate effect, and stop ‘working on ourselves’ as if it were possible to be broken.

I invite you to immediately stop working on yourself, and start loving yourself exactly as you are, and celebrating and honouring all of the darkness and frustration you have so masterfully manifested. Yes. Be the witch.

With love,

Anna